Due to a strong increase in the number of indications requiring its use, rigid bronchoscopy is making a strong comeback in the field of interventional pulmonology. Use of the rigid bronchoscope is essential for stent placement or resection of large amounts of tissue, and also allows safe and selective control of excessive bleeding, should it occur. The rigid bronchoscope is also the tool of choice for the removal of foreign bodies in the airways, most commonly in children.
Combined with optical forceps, foreign bodies may be removed with optimal control under constant visualization.
Flexible bronchoscopy has replaced rigid bronchoscopy for many indications. Modern flexible bronchoscopes have a very narrow outer diameter so that treatment can be carried out using an intervention that is very gentle on the patient. Performing flexible bronchoscopy only requires mild sedation for patients.
Many treatments such as forceps biopsy can be realized significantly more quickly and more simply. Flexible bronchoscopy can be used to reach areas which cannot be envisioned with a rigid bronchoscope. Furthermore, flexible bronchoscopy offers the opportunity to use autofluorescence bronchoscopes. This treatment uses a special blue light in order to highlight the margins of tissue that has undergone pathological changes. Autofluorescence provides users with a tool for diagnosing early-stage tumors or for investigating tumors.